Published: May 19, 2023

Ontarians Bet Over $35 Billion in First Year of Legal Online Gambling

After just one year of legalization, Ontario is emerging as one of the largest igaming markets in North America with over 40 operators and 76 websites/apps available.

According to Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) VP Andrew Darley, the Ontario igaming market is possibly "number one in the world" in terms of revenue if the iGaming Ontario and OLG data are combined.

Darley made the assertion at an Ontario-focused session at SBC Summit North America, explaining that OLG's figures are confidential but significant enough to challenge the world's largest markets.

The industry earned nearly $1.4 billion in total gaming income and approximately $35.6 billion in total wagers during its first year.

Last April, Ontario became the first Canadian province to launch a legal, regulated market. Since then, the province has accumulated over 1.6 million active player accounts on websites operated by more than 40 operators affiliated with iGaming Ontario.

The transition from unregulated sites to the legal market appears to have gone easily; according to an Ipsos poll released Tuesday, 85% of respondents who bet in Ontario did so on licensed sites. This is a significant departure from before the market's debut, when 70% of users gambled on unregulated sites.

According to iGaming Ontario, active players spent an average of $70 per month in the previous year.

Basketball was the most popular sport to wager on, followed by soccer, football, hockey, and baseball. In the online casino category, slots accounted for 48% of all wagers, while table games with a live dealer accounted for nearly a third and computer-based table games accounted for the remainder.

Canada’s New Online Casino & Sportsbook

Among the companies looking to gain a meaningful presence in the Ontario online gambling market is NorthStar Gaming Holdings Inc. (TSXV:BET), a Canadian-owned gaming brand that owns and operates NorthStar Bets, an Ontario casino and sportsbook gaming platform that gives players a distinctly local user experience.

Along with all of the most popular online casino games, the NorthStar Bets sportsbook offers real-time news, data, analysis, and scores directly in the betting environment.

NorthStar Gaming launched Northstar Bets last June in partnership with Playtech PLC (LSE:PTECH) (OTC:PYTCY), a world-leading provider of B2C gambling technology. Under the partnership, Playtech became NorthStar’s strategic software and services supplier, delivering its IMS platform, casino and live casino services to Ontario’s gambling market.

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